About a dozen parents of the more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls will never see their daughters again.
Since the mass abduction of the schoolgirls by Islamic extremists three months ago, at least 11 of their parents have died and their hometown, Chibok, is under siege from the militants, residents report.
Seven fathers of kidnapped girls were among 51 bodies brought to Chibok hospital after an attack on the nearby village of Kautakari this month, said a health worker who insisted on anonymity for fear of reprisals by the extremists.
At least four more parents have died of heart failure, high blood pressure and other illnesses that the community blames on trauma due to the mass abduction 100 days ago, said community leader Pogu Bitrus, who provided their names.
“One father of two of the girls kidnapped just went into a kind of coma and kept repeating the names of his daughters, until life left him,” said Bitrus.
Chibok is cut off because of frequent attacks on the roads that are studded with burned out vehicles. Commercial flights no longer go into the troubled area and the government has halted charter flights.
Boko Haram is closing in on Chibok, attacking villages ever closer to the town. Villagers who survive the assaults are swarming into the town, swelling its population and straining resources. A food crisis looms, along with shortages of money and fuel, said community leader Bitrus.